NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – On Wednesday, President Trump announced new measures to end sanctuary cities which don’t arrest or detain those in the country illegally. Trump’s first order to de-fund sanctuary cities is to identify any federal funding it can withhold from these areas.
Although not a sanctuary city, Northampton offers sanctuary to oppressed immigrants and refugees. Mayor David Narkewicz told 22News, unless an executive order is issued, the plan to welcome 51 Syrian refugees to the city this year will continue.
Paule Sustick of Haydenville agrees with Mayor Narkewicz to keep refugees in Northampton, and that the decision doesn’t violate any federal laws. “As a community, we make that decision on our own. I try to teach my kids about acceptance and goodness in people, and I’d like to see the city build on that.”
For the refugees who still plan to come to Northampton, businesses like Broadside Bookshop have decided to place signs outside their doors saying, “Refugees are welcome here”, and “Stop profiling Muslims”, letting refugees and immigrants know that they’re always welcome into their shop and their community.
Broadside Bookshop co-owner Nancy Felton told 22News they put the sign up weeks ago to make a statement about their acceptance. “Any immigrants who are here, we feel like everybody should be welcomed,” says Fenton. “Whether refugees actually want to come in and buy books or not, we want to make a statement that we welcome them to our community.”
Northampton police currently don’t turn over residents to federal immigration enforcement, unless they have an arrest warrant.